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Information on farmersmanual

farmersmanual is a pan-European, multisensory disturbance conglomerate working on new musical and technological instruments for improvisation, network visualization and sonification, tools for networked performances and remote collaboration and forms of documentation that prolong the idea of openness and reinterpretation. Farmersmanual has had a stream of performances and installations since 1996, continuously expanding their performance and publishing practice from music concerts to interdisciplinary cultural, aesthetic and political experiments, which move away from the static representations of art and culture, and towards environments where the public becomes an essential part of the work.


  • Farmersmanual present their ESOTERIC EXERCISES IN MOBILE COMPUTING.
  • TOTAL AUTOMATION vs. HUMAN INTERACTION: during the performance we seek to shift the local atmosphere from dissolution and clumsiness through manual change and ecstatic fiddling into an imaginative state of complex monotony, structured calm and chill, or endless associative babbling. so that towards the end the authors become the audience and the audience can be confronted with a stage populated by machines only which cant get out of infinitely rendering a stream of slight semantic madness. the setup then is what is normally considered a sort of installation. all this with the help of extreme frequencies and distorted, flickering images.
  • extracting a shadow from the skeleton of network flow. a layer of technological reality usually hidden becomes accessable through mediation into sound and visual flicker. erraticly shifting from chittering machines into the human realm. replay in different timescales. different times. different speeds. useless information - still unpredictable.


Farmers Manual live performances
"Farmersmanual's performance was about algorithms and their artifacts. Clicks and textural discontinuities were rampant. The demeanor of the performers was stoic: that of accountants working a spreadsheet program rather than artists expressing themselves. Despite the apparent detachment of the performers, the musical pace was extremely rapid, both in terms of events per second and the speed of textural change. At several points the performance veered towards totally unexpected textures with complete confidence and synchrony among the performers (and in keeping with the straight-faced nature of the performance, no indication that anything unusual had occurred)."

Eric Lyon on the International Computerusic Associationīs website

"Their music thus produces an unsettling quality not only on the basis of sensory stimuli, but on epistemological grounds: it's not just the frequent visceral sense of foreboding, like that moment on the roller-coaster just before it drops and accelerates, but the listener's never being completely sure when the various telegraphic beepings and/or rude rushes of digital noise constitute music, and what input is causing it. In the meantime, the FM people continue to talk to their machines, the machines talk to each other, the machines talk back to the people, and sometimes the people even talk to each other."

John Wojtowicz in "Farmersmanual, czyli nowe grancice futuryzmu", published in dwukropek magazine nr1(1) 2002 , translated from polish.

Farmers Manual Explorers_We (Or)
"Explorers_We is the Sgt. Pepper of glitchwerks; it's a totally considered statement, which holds together from start to finish. It's the first glitchwerk masterpiece. The more you listen to it, the better it gets. There's a strong sense of narrative here-- 60 tracks, each one minute long, begin almost silently, but by five minutes into the disc, small machine-like whirs appear, building up into sensous overtones. About 20 minutes in, speeded-up vocal samples join, wrapped in warm analog musique-concrete whooshes. The middle section sounds completely psychedelic, directly referencing George Martin's 60s studio experiments. Digital clicks fuse with sampled voices to form fantastic polyrhythms which take their cue from African drumming (a tip of the hat to Steve Reich's Drumming and "It's Gonna Rain"). The disc finishes out by using a series of self-reflexive one second media clips from game shows, applause, commercials."

from Kenny Gīs Popular Guide to Unpopular Music

Farmers Manual RLA (recent live archive) DVD (Mego)
"It can seem like the narrator of Jorge Luis Borges' Library of Babel contemplating the infinite: '..the formless and chaotic nature of almost all the books...' For every line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences. Borges' story, frequently cited as prescient of the ever-growing networked data store via which you're reading this review, might also be applied to Farmers Manual's DVD, website and other products. Should strategies be developed to negotiate such volumes of data as FM/RLA provides? Mapless, it's easy to lose one's way. Lost, one is forced to survey the landscape in detail, to pay attention to both the immediate surroundings and the horizon: one becomes an explorer, willing or not. FM claim to work towards as pure a machinic extemporisation as may be attained by a small core of operators. Unbalancing the Kraftwerk equilibrium of man/machine, the spectral traces of the former scarcely trouble the movements of the latter. Each FM concert is an experiment. In their playfulness, their dedication to research, their preparedness to walk tightropes without a net and to batter your ears, FM deserve, even demand your attention."

Colin Buttimer in BBC Online Expermintal Music Reviews

Call them last of the 20th century avant-garde or first of the 21st new-garde. Doesn't matter. Just start up the disk and quit the DVD player program. And find out for yourself. Believe it or not, suddenly I was overwhelmed and charmed with the way this whole thing had imploded into the idea of a DVD, that was nothing else but a failure or breakdown of the format itself. It has been splintered into all the formats we have known over the last decade, and therefore into all the concepts that we dragged along culminating into the fake database hype nowadays. This is the perfect cure to all fake art research and all fake format sublimation that art is promoting these days. And that makes it the most refreshing contemporary disk that ever was - up to now. And what is more, just browse to and you will find out what I am talking about. Don't expect the fancy interface, go for the data, and you will appreciate the interface!

Guy van Belle in the European Fotography Review
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